Cotton is one of the most important textile fibers in the world, averaging about 25 percent of total world fiber use. The United States is the world’s third-largest cotton producer and the leading cotton exporter, accounting for one-third of global trade in raw cotton. The U.S. cotton industry accounts for more than $21 billion in products and services annually, generating more than 125,000 jobs in the industry sectors from farm to textile mill.
ERS provides a range of reports and data products on cotton markets, including domestic and international supply, demand, trade, and prices. Periodic, scheduled outputs include:
- Cotton and Wool Outlook, a report published 9 months of the year that provides supply and use projections for U.S. and global cotton markets based on the most current World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
- Cotton and Wool Yearbook Tables, an annual data product that contains U.S. cotton and wool production, supply, use, trade, and price statistics. The tables also include domestic and world price series and indexes; State cotton acreage, yield, and production data; and conversions of U.S. textile imports and exports.
- Raw-Fiber Equivalents of U.S. Textile Trade Data, an annual data product that provides raw-fiber equivalent volume of U.S. textile trade. The data are used to track and estimate U.S. consumer demand for textiles, monitor trends in fiber share, and provide insight into the level of world mill use of cotton. This dataset provides historical annual data, while monthly data are published in the Cotton and Wool Outlook.
- Commodity Costs and Return, a data product that provides annual estimates of production costs and returns for major field crops, including cotton.
- Agricultural Baseline Database, an annual report published in February that offers 10-year projections from USDA's annual long-term projections report. The database covers projections for cotton, in addition to the other major field crops and livestock.
In addition to the periodic Outlook reports and data products, ERS publishes reports covering issues important to the cotton market in the United States and around the world. Recent ERS reports relating to cotton include:
- Cotton Policy in China , a report examining China's price support for its cotton producers, analyzing the policy's motivation, its consequences, and the effects of various adjustments alternatives.
- USDA Agricultural Projections to 2026, anticipates moderate gains in U.S. mill use and intense competition in export markets over the next 10 years.
- Food Policy and Productivity Key to India Outlook, an Amber Waves article highlighting India’s farm sector growth during the last decade despite low yields for its major crops, including cotton. India is expected to remain an important player in the global market.
- Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops by U.S. Farmers Has Increased Steadily for Over 15 Years, an Amber Waves article highlighting the growth of genetically engineered crops in the United States, with traits that reduce insecticide use, enable less toxic herbicide use, and increase crop yields.
- Cotton and Hydropower in Central Asia: How Resource Competition Affects Trade , a report that discusses how water is allocated between agriculture and energy in Central Asia and presents scenario results that simulate the effects on production and trade.